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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/profile/blog/jim-d/month/4-1-2024
by Sum1
Rated: E · Book · Travel · #1779685
I travel the country on business, sometimes the world. Come see where I've been.
         Talk about perks, my job has one of the best ones I can think of! I travel in the course of business, delivering classes for my employer. I am a Senior Training Specialist for Motorola Solutions, and teach classes on a wide variety of subjects centered around 2 way radio communications. I'm qualified to deliver approximately 30 different classes, but about half of those are 'Legacy' classes, and are not in demand anymore. My students are technicians, those who maintain, program, calibrate, and repair large 2-way radio systems. Some of these systems are statewide, and use TCP-IP networking to allow sites to communicate with others. Some are small, traditional type radio sites. The size doesn't matter, in each case the systems must be kept operational at all times, since many of them are Public Safety Systems. So I get to travel, sometimes frequently, 3-4 weeks in a row.... where am I this week?

         This probably won't have daily entries, but I will make entries when I get to go somewhere, and keep an updated list of coming trips. My schedule changes faster than the weather, so don't be too surprised to see me list an upcoming class, only to remark later on that it is cancelled, or delayed. Delays are fine of course, but a later date might mean that someone else gets to go instead of me,,, Well, here we go with this, let's see where it takes us.

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April 28, 2024 at 6:58pm
April 28, 2024 at 6:58pm
Bloomington, Illinois

         Thank God for small favors! After a pretty exhausting schedule in February and March, I finally spent a week at home! Since February 11, I've now had 2.5 weeks at home, with a Saturday 'visit' here and there. It wouldn't be so bad if the classes were in the same time zone, but that was far from the case. Starting the week of February 11, I was in Dover New Hampshire, Hillsboro Oregon, Frederick Maryland (flew from Hillsboro directly to Frederick), Hillsboro Oregon, FOUR days at home, Bangkok Thailand for 2 weeks, a week of no delivery so I rested all i could, Dover New Hampshire, and St. Johns Newfoundland. Yeah, it was very tiring for this old man. But I survived and was able to spend the entire week at home. No, I wasn't idle, I prepped for a class I will deliver in July (more on that in a minute) ,and reviewed the course materials for my next 2 classes. I accomplished what I wanted to get done, that was my goal all week, Did I work 8 hours a day? Nope, but like I said, I accomplished what I needed to do.

         This class in July will be at Fort Bragg. This is a small system, one that few customers purchase. The class itself hasn't been delivered in 10 years too! As a result, I spent a bit of time reviewing the course materials and ensuring they are up-to-date, writing hands-on activities as needed. Things like that. I also napped whenever I could or wanted to. Tuesday was a day that concerned me a bit, and made me realize jusat how exhausted I was from the time zone shifts. Essentially I was dead to the world. I had Zero energy when it came to doing the simplest of tasks. The rest of the week was fine though, so I have to ask, "Was Tuesday an Aberration? Was it a day that was different than the rest for some reason? Or was it a reminder that I'm not so young anymore?" It was both. In 2021, I learned to pay attention to my body, and listen to what it was saying. So I rested more than I thought I should, and feel much better about things now. Am I all set to go? No way. I will take things as they come and pace myself all I can.

         My upcoming schedule, as of now:

Week of:

April 29: Los Angeles

May 6: Fort Lauderdale

May13: Fort Lauderdale

May 20: San Francisco

May 27: Schaumburg Illinois

June 3: Vacation!

June 10: Vacation!

June 17: Tennessee

June24: St. Johns Newfoundland

         That's all for now, the time at home was so relaxing and refreshing. A short entry today as a result.. Til next time, keep on writing, most of all, keep on loving those special people in your life!

April 19, 2024 at 5:00am
April 19, 2024 at 5:00am
Dover NH & St. Johns NL

         Well, after spending two wonderful weeks in Bangkok Thailand, meeting Kåre Enga in Montana , I managed to get a week at home. That was needed, and welcomed Gee, I remember a time when all I wanted to do week in and week out, was travel. Now it wears on me, so a week at home is welcomed with open arms. I spent that week relaxing a bit, studying for upcoming classes, preparing Powerpoint Slides for a class in July (Fort Bragg), and just getting my feet back on the ground, so-to-speak.

         The following I was in Dover New Hampshire again. The training coordinator who originally scheduled their classes did not realize the type of system they have, and classes they didn't need had been scheduled, while classes the did need were not scheduled. That was corrected a couple of months before this class, it's how I came to be in Dover a second time.

         Overall, the class went very well, the travel home was a nightmare. Part of it was my fault, a lot of it was United Airlines fault. Why? Once the class was done, I shopped at the local Wally World. I needed a small collapsible bag, and knew I'd find it there. However, this delayed me some, plus the traffic around Logan Airport was a nightmare as usual. I arrived at the ticket counter a little over an hour before my flight. I had plenty of time though, since you need to be checked in 45 minutes before your flight. Imagine my surprise to learn that the Gate I would depart from had restricted issuance of boarding passes, and required their permission. The check-in desk called the gate, and the gate said I couldn't board. I've come to think that the flight had been oversold, with my seat already given to someone else. I ended up being booked on a later flight, and arrived in Chicago at 11 pm. This meant I missed my connecting flight to Peoria. So, I rented a car from Avis for the weekend (MUCH cheaper than a one-way rental on a Friday night) and drove home. I didn't arrive until after 2 am though. I wanted to get home Friday night vs Staying at a nearby hotel in Chicago because I would leave Sunday morning at 5 am. Such is life huh. I do have it much better than many people.

         I left for St. Johns Newfoundland at 9:40 am Sunday, and had a scheduled 5 hour layover in Toronto. As luck would have it, the five hour layover became 7 due to flight delays. I didn't arrive in St. Johns until after 11, and at my hotel about 12:30 am. I was in bed around 1 though, only to get up at five to start my day. I was pretty tired, but managed to get through things. Still, it was quite a weekend of travel, don't you think?

         Class this week has gone very well, it's actually two classes back to back. Still, all's well on the 'home front' here. I really like St. Johns, except it's rained almost all week., Yesterday I drove to the Cape Spear Lighthouse, and probably will again today. Why? Near the Lighthouse is the Eastern most point in Canada, and in my eyes, the Eastern most point in North America. I realize that some of the Aleutian Islands are over the 180 degree line of Longitude, but I'm not counting them. No insult to anyone living there intended. Id like to get a photo of that area, or better photos than what I took yesterday in the driving rain.

Cape Spear Lighthouse

Noteworthy Restaurants:

         St. Johns Fish Exchange          https://sjfx.ca/          I couldn't come to a small town like St. Johns and not sample their seafood, could I? Their Fishing Admirals Feast was outstanding! IT consisted of the Chef's Selection of daily fresh seafood. The dish had Cod, Salmon, Fish Cakes, 2-Shrimp Skewers, Steamed Veggies, and Rice. Each of the fish filets had a different sauce on it. To me, that made the dish!

         YellowBelly Brewery          https://www.yellowbellybrewery.com/food/          For some odd reason, I lkonged for a simple burger, saw their menu, and figured I'd drop by here, I chose well. Their Salt-Vinegar Cod bites were crispy and hot out of the oil. The Guilty Pleasure Burger came with crumbled Bacon, Tomato, Letttuce, Tomato Aioli, Onion Jam, Breaded & Fried Provolone Cheese, Crispy Prosciutto, and a Deep Fried Pickle Spear skewered on top of the bun. Everything I didn't really need, but wanted. It hit the spot, and removed that yearning for a burger.

         I am currently scheduled to return here in June, we'll see if I dine at these two restaurants then.

         I fly home tomorrow, and will spend the next week relaxing/working before flying to Los Angeles on Sunday. Til next time, keep on writing, most of all, keep on loving those special people in your life!

April 3, 2024 at 1:30pm
April 3, 2024 at 1:30pm
Two Weeks In Bangkok

         The class I delivered to the Department Of State in Bangkok went quite well. My only trepidation about the whole delivery was that I would be delivering one portion of the class for the first time. Especially since I didn't 'qualify' to deliver that class the traditional way. A policy has been set that "To qualify on a new course, the person qualifying must sit in the class when it is being delivered. Once that is done, a Team Teach with a qualified instructor must be done." None of that happened. I had the equipment shipped to my house in December and spent a week studying the course Powerpoints, and performing every lab available for the course. Fast forward to April, and you can understand my angst. Especially once I learned that the State Department is doing far more with this small device than the course is written for. I became a mushroom, learning on the fly, and trying to remain one step ahead of them. I was successful in some of it, not so successful in others. But it all seemed to go well with all attendees quite happy.

         I want to say a couple of other things about the class. Most of the students were American Citizens working for the Embassy. There were 12 students in class, only three were from Bangkok. The rest were from Embassies in Kathmandu, Manila, New Delhi, Frankfurt Germany, and Springfield Va. Speaking of Frankfurt Germany, I may be going there for a week in late August, as well as two weeks in January/February. Plus, my Embassy contact told me that they are trying to ramp up their training since they are hiring a lot of new people, some with no RF background whatsoever. They have a technical/electronic background, but nothing to do with RF. I guess most have a bit of an IT background. If you are looking for a job, and have some kind of electrical/electronic background, you might consider applying.

         I didn't get out much while there, mainly because it was pretty hot, and the Bangkok traffic. Besides, I discovered that the Conrad Hilton has an executive lounge that serves an awesome breakfast (buffet), as well as a small lunch and dinner buffet. With food that good, and free to boot, I found it hard to do much in the evenings. The hotel does have 5 nice restaurants that serve excellent food. I found I didn't like going to the Bar/ Lounge on the first floor though. The music was incredibly loud, and the band's drummer seemed to think that he was the most important member of the group, not the singer. He was very loud, at times drowning out the singer's voice. I just couldn't deal with that.

         I did get out on the weekend, and that was a mistake I'm afraid. I bought a few small items, and at one of the stalls my debit card was compromised. I woke Sunday morning with a text from my bank about a Fraud Alert. And again on Wednesday. The bank locked my card so it couldn't be used, I didn't even lose a penny as a result of this. It also meant I couldn't use the card myself though. I didn't mind, I'd rather have my money safe than compromised. On Monday I went to my bank and received a new card. My old card was shredded by the bank. *Smile* On Friday, my Embassy contact pulled money from his account and gave me 7000 Baht, about $220 American. In exchange, I sent him enough to cover that, plus a little extra, via Paypal. It all worked out.

         I did snap a lot of photos Sunday, emphasis on Snapped. I'm love taking photos, but I could never be mistaken for being a photographer. I have one below that I posted in a previous entry, and am keeping it here with this entry. I did go out twice to dine, one was dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, the other was a BBQ place that was very good. Plus, when I returned from that Sunday outing, I had dinner at Polo Chicken, Thai style Fried Chicken smothered in Garlic! Yummmmmm.

         We won't talk about me discovering I still can't walk on air. A skinned forearm, bruised and sore right leg, and somehow I bruised a rib on my left side. Minor stuff, all healed now. That's it for an update. Til next time, keep on writing, and care for those you love!


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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/profile/blog/jim-d/month/4-1-2024